Category Archives: U.S. Supreme Court

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Supreme Court To Decide Whether To Hear Four High-Stakes Cases Asking When A Suit May Be Litigated As A Class Action

The Supreme Court will decide before the end of this Term whether to hear any or all of four important cases that raise recurring questions of class action law that have sharply divided the lower courts. These cases address questions that we have blogged about before (e.g., here and here): whether a class full of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to decide whether an offer of judgment for full relief moots a named plaintiff’s class-action claims

Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts to “cases” and “controversies.” The Supreme Court has held that “‘an actual controversy … be extant at all stages of review, not merely at the time the complaint is filed.’” Arizonans for Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 67 (1997). Accordingly, “[i]f … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins And Decide Whether Plaintiffs Who Have Suffered No Concrete Harm Nonetheless Have Article III Standing To Sue In Federal Court

Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, a plaintiff must allege that he or she has suffered an “injury-in-fact” to establish standing to sue in federal court. Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13-1339, to decide whether Congress may confer Article III standing by authorizing a private right of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari To Address Interplay of Federal Arbitration Act And State-Law Savings Clause In Arbitration Agreement

As readers of this blog know, prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the California Supreme Court (and a number of other state courts) had declared that waivers of class-wide arbitration were unenforceable as a matter of state law. But in Concepcion, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That Defendants Need Not Submit Evidence with a Notice of Removal Under the Class Action Fairness Act

To remove a civil action from state court to federal court, the defendant must “file … a notice of removal … containing a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a). Under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), federal courts have jurisdiction over certain class actions if, among … Continue Reading

Standing Without Injury? Washington Legal Foundation Webinar Addresses “No-Injury” Class Actions

The Supreme Court is currently considering a petition for certiorari in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins (pdf), which raises the question whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon a plaintiff who suffers no concrete harm, and who therefore could not otherwise invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court, by authorizing a private right of action based … Continue Reading

Supreme Court May Clarify Procedures For Removal Under CAFA—If It Decides To Answer The Question Presented in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens

This morning I attended oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens.  The issue presented in Dart Cherokee is whether a defendant who wishes to remove a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is required to submit evidence supporting federal jurisdiction along with the … Continue Reading

ERISA Stock-Drop Class Actions: As One Door Opens for Plaintiffs, Another Closes

In ERISA stock-drop class actions, plaintiffs routinely allege that their employers breached a duty of prudence by permitting employees to invest their retirement assets in their company’s stock.  Until today, defendants typically defended against such claims by invoking a judicially crafted presumption that offering company stock was prudent.  Today, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, … Continue Reading

Why The Supreme Court’s Decision in Halliburton Is Bad News For Investors And The Public

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in the Halliburton case leaves the securities class action system pretty much unchanged. And that isn’t because the Supreme Court examined the system and concluded it is working well and makes sense.  Instead,  the Court simply didn’t address those questions. That’s very good news for the lawyers who make their living … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Refuses To Overturn Fraud-On-The-Market Presumption, But Adjusts Presumption To Allow Evidence of Absence Of “Price Impact” At Class Certification Stage

The securities class action industry was launched a quarter-century ago when the Supreme Court recognized the so-called “fraud-on-the-market” presumption of reliance in most putative securities class actions.  The result has been that—despite Congressional efforts at securities litigation reform—most securities class actions that survive the pleadings stage are likely to achieve class certification, forcing defendants to … Continue Reading

POM v. Coke Does Not Alter The Landscape for Food False Advertising Class Actions

After the oral argument in POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co. (pdf), No. 12-761, the Supreme Court appeared all but certain to allow competitors to sue for false advertising under the Lanham Act over labels of FDA-regulated food products.  Food manufactures have been waiting to see just how broad the ruling would be and whether it … Continue Reading

Are You Objecting to Personal Jurisdiction In Magnet Jurisdictions Yet?

Until recently, many large companies have resigned themselves to the assertion of personal jurisdiction by courts in any state in which they do business—so long as the plaintiff has named the right corporate entity as defendant. That’s because the conventional wisdom has been that large companies are subject to personal jurisdiction nationwide because they do … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether All Evidence Supporting Removal Under the Class Action Fairness Act Must Be Submitted With The Notice of Removal

To remove a civil action from state court to federal court, the defendant must “file … a notice of removal … containing a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a). Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, No. 13-719, to decide whether … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Filing A Class Action Tolls Statute of Repose Under Federal Securities Laws

Last year, we reported on the Second Circuit’s ruling in Police & Fire Retirement System of City of Detroit v. IndyMac MBS, Inc. (pdf), 721 F.3d 95 (2d Cir. 2013), that the filing of a class action does not toll the statute of repose in the Securities Act of 1933 for would-be class members who … Continue Reading

Reading the Halliburton Argument’s Tea Leaves

Does today’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in the Halliburton case provide any clues regarding the Court’s likely decision?  (For background regarding the case, see yesterday’s post.) Not necessarily. “Court-watchers” are often quick to predict a case’s outcome based on the argument—and are very often wrong.  Remember the health care law that was certain … Continue Reading

Does Precedent or Congressional Action Prevent the Supreme Court from Reconsidering the Fraud-on-the Market Doctrine in Halliburton?

The Supreme Court will grapple with private securities class actions when it hears oral argument tomorrow in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. The principal question in the case is the continuing validity of the fraud-on-the-market doctrine, endorsed by the Court twenty-five years ago in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, which relieves plaintiffs asserting claims under … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Fair Labor Standards Act Requires Compensating Employees for End-of-Shift Security Screenings

The Supreme Court makes its biggest headlines when it wades into the biggest issues of the day. But the Supreme Court also maintains a substantial docket of seemingly small—but ultimately important—technical questions. In recent years, the Court has been particularly interested in defining precisely when an hourly employee is on and off the clock. For … Continue Reading

Cert Petition Asks Supreme Court To Decide Whether Congress Can Allow Uninjured Plaintiffs To Sue In Federal Court

For years, defendants have argued that federal courts may not entertain class-action lawsuits when the plaintiff does not allege that he or she suffered any concrete personal harm and instead relies solely on an “injury in law” based on an alleged exposure to a technical violation of a federal statute. As we (and others) have … Continue Reading

Do Employers Have To Pay Unionized Workers For Time Spent Donning and Doffing Safety Gear? Supreme Court Says No.

In recent years, one of the hottest types of collective actions against employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is what is commonly called a “donning and doffing claim”—a lawsuit for unpaid wages for time employees spent changing clothes for work, such as putting on uniforms, safety gear, and the like. In a recent … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds that CAFA Doesn’t Let Defendants Remove State AG Actions to Federal Court

When state attorneys general file suits to seek monetary recoveries based on claimed injuries to private citizens, those lawsuits look like, walk like, and quack like class actions. In fact, in most of these so-called “parens patriae” cases, the same private plaintiffs’ lawyers that bring private class actions are retained to represent states in exchange … Continue Reading

Two Washer Cases Provide the Supreme Court with Its Best Opportunity Since Wal-Mart v. Dukes to Make Sense of Class-Certification Standards

At its conference on January 10, the Supreme Court can get serious about fixing consumer class actions. The Justices should take up that challenge, because it will consider two certiorari petitions that seek review of class certifications—involving alleged “moldy odors” in high-tech front loading washing machines—that are prime examples of what has gone wrong with … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Picks Up ERISA Stock-Drop Case: What’s Next?

In what circumstances should you be permitted to invest your retirement savings in your own employer’s stock? We have blogged before about an ERISA class action pending at the Supreme Court regarding when plan fiduciaries must prevent participants from investing in employer stock. After the Solicitor General filed an amicus brief (pdf) asking the Court … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing Class Actions in the Supreme Court with LXBN TV

Following up on our recent coverage of Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp., my colleague Archis Parasharami had the opportunity to discuss the subject with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. In this brief video interview, Archis discusses some of the class action issues that the Supreme Court is confronting now or may confront in the … Continue Reading